Skin Replacement

Replacing the stripe on the curbside.

When the pieces matched up, it was magical.

No, skin replacement wasn’t a medical procedure needed as a result of a power tool mishap. We finally had all of the bad wood replaced, and the next step involved putting the aluminum skin back on the front, rear, and sides of the trailer. It felt good to be putting her back together!

We used non-galvanized stainless steel nails and staples to reattach the skin to the wood frame, working in the reverse order in which we had removed the large sheets. Remember, galvanized stainless steel doesn’t play nice with aluminum. As we matched the aluminum skin to the original locations, we saw that they must have originally cut it to fit, leaving a tiny bit of overlap between the front and sides, and virtually no overlap at the rear. The edges of the skin aligned perfectly with the edges of the wood frame, leaving no wiggle room.

Not quite a match

So close, and yet so far. We needed this to line up exactly.

Most of the sections went on easily, but as we reached the rear on the curbside, we couldn’t get the skin to line up with the replaced frame. We had replaced both board that formed the back corner, and the frame had shifted slightly while they were off. We pushed, squeezed, and grunted, but the frame was about a half inch longer than the skin. After fighting with it all day, we eventually conceded that it needed to be taken apart and reset, and dismantled the corner. Pushing the frame together as hard we we could, we screwed the boards in position again, and this time, we were able to align the skin with the frame, more or less.

Curbside finished

It’s starting to look less like a cabin and more like a trailer!

With the sides on, it looked a lot more like a trailer again. The roof needed to be set back in place next, and we hoped that it would be an easier fit than the sides, now that the frame was in the correct position. Spoiler alert– the roof was the worst.


Categories: Repairs | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Skin Replacement

  1. Did you replace your roof? If so, where did you get a new roof? I rebuilt my 1966 Kit Companion and am running into the same problems as you. Also, how much did it cost to replace a piece of skin?

    • Hi Rita! We were able to reuse all of our original aluminum skin pieces, including the roof, although we had to do some repairs (see our earlier post on this for details and pictures) to fix holes and cracks. The roof was such an exact fit that we would try everything possible to reuse it before looking for a replacement from another travel trailer.

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